13 Steps to Successful Blogging

13 Steps to Successful Blogging

13 Steps to Successful Blogging

By: Ant Onaf

Blogs can be a very marketable and very profitable tool if used correctly. Profiting from blogs is just a matter of grabbing the attention of an audience and not doing any actual salesmen selling. In this article you will learn the 13 most essential steps to successful blogging.

1) Where to start?
You should begin your blog with a free blog hosting service such as Journal Home. I don’t say that because I’m the owner, but a free blog host is very rewarding for a new blog. Starting with a free blog hosting service allows you to begin blogging instantly without having any advance knowledge of scripts, hosting, or programming. It allows you to build an audience and buzz for your blog. It allows you to focus on your content and not the internal maintenance of the blog. The best benefit of starting with a free service, is in the case your blog doesn’t become successful you do not lose any money or are you left holding the bill. The great thing about a blog is that they are organized in chronological order, your latest entry is displayed first. When your blog traffic grows greatly and you are ready to upgrade to your own domain then you can simply make your last blog entry the announcement of your “move”. Simply add a last entry stating that your blog has “moved” and type the new blog URL address. Which directs visitors to your new blog site, keeping your following, without a major inconvenience to anyone. Upgrade as you need to…but only when you need to!

2) Niche
A niche is a targeted product, service, or topic. You should first decide on a product, service, or topic which interest you. Choose an area which you can enthusiastically write about on a daily basis. You can use keyword research services like Google Zeitgeist or Yahoo! Buzz Index to find popular searched topics. It does NOT matter if your topic is popular as long as there is a audience for your topic and the topic is precisely focused then your blog should be successful. Anything can be considered a niche as long as it has a target audience no matter how large or how small the audience is. A blog about your cat can be a niche or a blog about the species of the cat family can be a larger niche market, if there are people who are interested in hearing about your cat or the species of the cat family, then you have a niche…you can even choose to build your audience for a market which an audience does not exist, but first you must build your blog.

3) Update Daily (nothing less)
This step is a must and not a suggestion. Updating your blog daily not only keeps your blog more interesting to readers, but it also gives your blog fresh content on a day to day making it more appealing to search engines. Not updating your blog on an occasional holiday or one day here and there is understandable to most, but missing days at a time or weeks is unacceptable and will most likely result in your blog being unsuccessful. To keep your blog traffic and retain your visitors interest it is a must to update your blog daily with multiple entries. Though, I am seeing a growing trend of successful blogs that are not being updated daily, but they are successful and have a stable audience who continue to visit their blog daily. Regardless, these blogs are still updated weekly with multiple entries. Until you have a steady audience you should try to update your blog everyday with at least 3 or more daily entries. The best way to accomplish this is to set aside 1-2 hours a day for tending to your blog and adding new entries. It may even be wise to schedule a set time which you dedicate to your blog each day. Give yourself work hours and treat your blog as a job, what happens if you don’t come to work for days or weeks…you lose money or worse you get fired! Same applies here…if you don’t update your blog for days or weeks you’ll lose visitors.

4) Traffic
It’s no secret. You must have traffic to profit from blogs. There are numerous ways to build traffic. Paid advertising, free advertising, viral marketing, search engine marketing, RSS/XML feeds, and word-of-mouth. You should always use your blog URL address in the signature of your email, forum discussions, message boards, or any other communication media. You should submit your blog URL address to search engines and blog directories. You should submit your RSS/XML URL feed to blog ping services like Technorati, Ping-O-Matic, and Blogdigger. You should confidently share your blog with family, friends, co-workers, associates, and business professionals when it relates. Many blogs can be considered as a collection of articles, for this purpose you should submit your blog entries (those that are valuable and lengthy articles) to content syndicators like GoArticles.com or ArticleCity.com. Once submitted your articles can be picked up and published by others. The trick is to make sure you include your Blog URL address in the “About the Author” passage. What this does is create link popularity and backlinks for your blog, when someone picks up your article from the syndication then publish the article on their website the “About the Author” passage is included with each publication and the link you included is followed, crawled, and indexed by search engines. Imagine if your article is popular enough or controversial enough to produce 10,000 publications across the web. The search engines is bound to find your blog in no time with that many publications and credit you a authority on the topic, in return increasing your rank on search engines. The small effort of writing a well written article is rewarding. You should try to write at least 1 full length article every week for syndication and submit your article to at least 10 article syndicators.

5) Track Your Blog
How do you know if your blog has traffic? Just because no one is leaving comments doesn’t mean your blog isn’t growing. Many visitors do not leave comments but they are returning visitors. I know it sounds crazy but with blogs people are more interested in what “you” have to say! Many visitors do not comment their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time. Some do not comment at all, but are active daily visitors.

Tracking your blog does not have to be overly sophisticated usually a simple free page counter like StatCounter.com or Active Meter will do the trick. Install (copy/paste) the code into the html of your blog template and start tracking your visitors. Its better to use a service which gives you advanced traffic analysis, such as keyword tracking information, referral information, and search engine information. Visitors, returning visitors, and unique visitors should be standard for any page counter service you choose.

6) Listen to Your Audience
When using the proper page counter you should begin to see how others are finding your blog and if through search engines then which keywords are being used to find your blog. If constantly your blog is being found by 1 or more keywords then focus your blog around those keywords to make it even more powerful. When writing entry titles and entries use the keywords as often as possible while keeping the blog legible and interesting.

7) Multiple blogs
Use multiple blogging accounts (free) to attract more people. This means you should have a blog with JournalHome.com and others. The more blog accounts the better (be sure to read and adhere to the Terms of Service for each site). You can copy/paste from 1 blog to all others. Having different blog accounts is like having a publication in different newspapers. This enables you to attract more visitors and this also increases the chance that 1 of your blogs will be in the search engine results for your focused keywords.

8) Short & Concise
Aside from the lengthy article a week for syndication and publication your blog entries should be short & concise (if you can help it). Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and you have no choice but to blog lengthy entries, but try to avoid this as much as possible. You do not want your blog entries to become hours of reading. Visitors like to easily find information and skim through your entries. It is good to be detailed and provide useful information, but do not include useless information or run away sentences that veer away from your topic. Stay keyword-focused.

9) Digital Art
Try to include non-advertising graphics, pictures, photos, and art in your blog entries. Not too much. Once a week is fine. Graphics can sometimes bring your blog to life. Of course, the content of the blog is the most important aspect and you do not want to overshadow your content with graphics, but displaying graphics can add a bit of spice to the blog. Be choosy about your graphics and make sure they fit your entry topic. You should add content with the graphic, at least a caption. Original graphics, photos, pictures, and art is recommended.

10) Keep it Personal
A blog is most successful when it is kept personal. Try to include personal experiences which relates to the topic of your blog entry. Stay away from the business style of writing. Write with a more personal style and use first-person narratives. Do not write any of your entries as sales letters, instead share product reviews and personal endeavors.

11) Interact With Your Visitors
You now have the traffic you deserve. You should begin interacting with your visitors. Create a regular theme such as: “Monday Money Tip” or “Picture of the Week” which entices your readers to look forward to each week.

Give your readers advance notice about a product, service, or topic which you are going to review and then talk about later. If the President was scheduled to give a speech then in your blog you should state that you “will discuss the speech and give your opinion after the speech airs. Comments will be appreciated”.

Try your best to find exclusive information that not many have. Do not disclose any confidential or secret information which is deemed illegal or can potentially get you into trouble, but try to get the scoop before everyone else does. Such as: If your blog was about Paris Hilton (the socialite) and you had a blog entry about “Paris Hilton Getting Married” then it would be interesting to your readers if you had a actual picture of Paris Hilton engagement ring. Give your best effort to dig and search the internet for exclusive information and you will possibly come up with something useful. Your readers will appreciate this and they show their appreciation through word-of-mouth referrals. Imagine how many readers will tell their friends, family, and others about information they only can find at your blog.

12) Make Money
Once your blog has gained some real momentum and your blog traffic is increasing then it is time to start thinking about turning your traffic into profit. You should use contextual advertising, like Google Adsense or Chitika. Contextual advertising is usually text links which use the content of your blog to publish targeted ads on your blog. The payout is usually based on a pay-per-click model, meaning for ever click an ad receives you are paid a small percentage of the profits. In addition to contextual advertising it is good to also use graphical advertising such as: BlogAds.com, Amazon.com, MammaMedia, or General Sponsored Advertising.

13) You’re a Professional
You’re a professional now! What are you still doing with that free blog hosting service? It is time to upgrade to a domain hosted solution. You need to get a web host and choose a domain name for your blog then check its availability. Select the blogging software you wish to use, such as: Squarespace.com, WordPress.org, MovableType.org, TypePad, etc. When you have your new blog domain setup and ready for traffic then it is time for you to announce your move on all your previous blog accounts. Your last entry to the blog should be a “move” announcement. The title should be “Moved” and the blog entry should state something like “I have a new home for my blog, please bookmark and follow the link: http://www.YourNewBlogDomainName.com”. This way all returning visitors and new readers should not have any problem finding your new blog domain. Plus, search engines can easily index and crawl your new blog, since your old blog should already be popular with the search engines.

At the level of a professional blogger you may want to team up with 1 or more other bloggers. This will create a more interesting and more powerful blog. The old saying “two heads is better than one”, more authors mean more advertising and exposure because each author will have a vested interest in the blog. The idea of a team blog is to make it profitable and rewarding for all authors, while continuing to target the blog topic and keeping the blog interesting for visitors.

Following these blogging techniques should make your blogging experience much more rewarding. There is no guarantee that your blog will become popular or a household name, but the effort should at least put you one step closer. Making money online is not an overnight experience like many may think, but making money online is definitely a foreseeable possibility. As well, growing popularity on the web is not an overnight experience, but through time, dedication, and persistence you will be rewarded with all the royalties of blogging.

To learn more about successful blogging subscribe to the Journal Home Newsletter

Author Bio
Ant Onaf is the owner and founder of www.JournalHome.com where can author your own free blogs He is an online internet marketer, web advertiser, and IT consultant. Ant Onaf has years of IT-related experience and Internet-related experience. His ingenuity, dedication, and passion for technology & internet marketing have made him a monumental icon in the World Wide Web. His blog can be visited at http://www.journalhome.com/AntOnaf

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content


Top 10 Training Best Practices for Effective Learning and Development Programs

Top 10 Training Best Practices for Effective Learning and Development Programs

Author: Tris Brown

Best companies realize that only through effectively and continuously developing and training their employees can they acquire the core competencies needed for competitive advantage and flexibility. In addition, these companies are realizing the benefits of self-development by encouraging a work habit of reflection and learning. In these companies, learning is built around action rather than theory. Instead of learning about strategic planning or marketing, participants develop a strategic plan or a marketing proposal for their own department.

The most effective training and development programs today have the following features incorporated:

1. Strategy driven: All training and development programs cascade down from the overall strategic goals. No programs are developed and implemented unless they produce results that are identified as critical to the strategy or business initiatives. There should be explicit alignment between programs, learning objectives, and business objectives.

2. Positive cost/benefit ratio: Training today is not only strategically linked, but is also subject to the same measurements as every other business activity. It must show a return on the investment, either in the long term or the short term. Best companies now realize that many training and development initiatives take years to fully achieve their goals. These timeframes, however, are identified up front, where possible, and the programs evaluated at that point.

3. Supported by key strategies, systems, structures, policies, and practices: Organizations that receive a true return on their learning investments ensure that learning is aligned with and directly supported by key areas such as organizational structures, lines of authority, decision making, values, planning, budgeting, career development, information sharing, compensation, performance management, rewards and recognition, staffing, recruiting, and succession planning. These direct links help to both set boundaries and reinforce desired results.

4. Driven through many channels: Leading organizations investigate and utilize multiple modalities such as the classroom, workplace, blended learning, eLearning, technology support tools, and co-workers to ensure that people get the right skills at the right time, in the right way, and at the right cost to succeed. Modalities are selected to match specific learning styles, business issues, budgets, and cultures.

5. Maximize employee ability and potential through shared accountability: Best companies are tapping the ability and potential of their employees through self-directed training and development. Employees are encouraged to identify their own needs, create individual learning plans, and to seek learning opportunities. Depending upon the kind of culture an organization is trying to create, the responsibility falls on the individual, his/her boss, his/her peers, and the organization. Training strategies are aimed at knowledge retention and transfer to the workplace, enabling employees to be more effective and to acquire more skills.

6. Work-related training: Knowledge and skills that are acquired through training and development programs are relevant and useful, both to the organization and to the individual’s work requirements. Employees only participate in programs that will add to their current and future work effectiveness and that will contribute to organizational success.

7. Learning by doing: Best companies are training their employees by having them perform “real” tasks and projects in a training environment and on-the-job. Rather than teaching theory and expecting employees to apply it to their own work, these companies are enabling employees to learn in their own way, and often at their own pace, through assignments that closely resemble their own work.

8. Transferability of knowledge and skills back to the job: One of the most important elements of best practice training and development is that it is easily transferred back to the workplace. This is achieved through the timing of the training, the quality of the content, and the quality and appropriateness of the delivery method. Another crucial element to this transferability is the maintenance of the new skill or knowledge once training has been completed. Skills and knowledge that are not used constantly will quickly atrophy.

9. Linked to other people-related programs and departments: Best companies do not train their employees in a vacuum. In many instances, training is now conducted by line managers, who also perform evaluations, set performance objectives, and draft compensation and promotion systems for the same employees. Even where the training is designed and delivered by a specific function or department, the programs respond not only to organizational needs, but also to individual needs as identified through appraisals, counseling meetings, assessments, and career development plans.

10. Continuous learning process: To drive lasting change in behaviors and habits, best companies ensure that learning occurs before, during, and after scheduled learning events. The process of doing, reflecting, learning, and doing again never ceases.

About LSA Global

Since 1995, LSA has helped organizations create and maintain distinct competitive advantages through human capital. We work with leading organizations to drive success through their people and the strategies, structures, systems, and processes that attract, inspire, develop, and retain top talent. Our solutions focus on the areas of:

– Sales Revenue Growth

– Leadership and Management Performance

– Project Management Performance

– Human Resource Performance

– Strategy Execution and Transformation

– Customer Service, Satisfaction, and Loyalty

We believe our clients’ success in the marketplace is realized through increased revenue, decreased costs, and higher productivity.

We are fiercely devoted to the success of our clients and proud that over 85% of our business comes from repeat business with satisfied clients and that we have a 97%+ customer satisfaction rating.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/management-articles/top-10-training-best-practices-for-effective-learning-and-development-programs-376420.html

About the Author

Tris Brown is President & CEO of LSA Global. Know more about Training Best Practices visit us at: http://www.lsaglobal.com.


“We Don’t Know What We are Talking About” – Nobel Laureate David Gross

At the 23rd Solvay Conference in Brussels, Belgium. Amongst the many topics covered in the conference was the subject matter of string theory. This theory combines the apparently irreconcilable domains of quantum physics and relativity. David Gross a Nobel Laureate made some startling statements about the state of physics including: “We don’t know what we are talking about” whilst referring to string theory as well as “The state of physics today is like it was when we were mystified by radioactivity.”

The Nobel Laureate is a heavyweight in this field having earned a prize for work on the strong nuclear force and he indicated that what is happening today is very similar to what happened at the 1911 Solvay meeting. Back then, radioactivity had recently been discovered and mass energy conservation was under assault because of its discovery. Quantum theory would be needed to solve these problems. Gross further commented that in 1911 “They were missing something absolutely fundamental,” as well as “we are missing perhaps something as profound as they were back then.”

Coming from a scientist with establishment credentials this is a damning statement about the state of current theoretical models and most notably string theory. This theoretical model is a means by which physicists replace the more commonly known particles of particle physics with one dimensional objects which are known as strings. These bizarre objects were first detected in 1968 through the insight and work of Gabriele Veneziano who was trying to comprehend the strong nuclear force.

Whilst meditating on the strong nuclear force Veneziano detected a similarity between the Euler Beta Function, named for the famed mathematician Leonhard Euler, and the strong force. Applying the aforementioned Beta Function to the strong force he was able to validate a direct correlation between the two. Interestingly enough, no one knew why Euler’s Beta worked so well in mapping the strong nuclear force data. A proposed solution to this dilemma would follow a few years later.

Almost two years later (1970), the scientists Nambu, Nielsen and Susskind provided a mathematical description which described the physical phenomena of why Euler’s Beta served as a graphical outline for the strong nuclear force. By modeling the strong nuclear forces as one dimensional strings they were able to show why it all seemed to work so well. However, several troubling inconsistencies were immediately seen on the horizon. The new theory had attached to it many implications that were in direct violation of empirical analyses. In other words, routine experimentation did not back up the new theory.

Needless to say, physicists romantic fascination with string theory ended almost as fast as it had begun only to be resuscitated a few years later by another ‘discovery.’ The worker of the miraculous salvation of the sweet dreams of modern physicists was known as the graviton. This elementary particle allegedly communicates gravitational forces throughout the universe.

The graviton is of course a ‘hypothetical’ particle that appears in what are known as quantum gravity systems. Unfortunately, the graviton has never ever been detected; it is as previously indicated a ‘mythical’ particle that fills the mind of the theorist with dreams of golden Nobel Prizes and perhaps his or her name on the periodic table of elements.

But back to the historical record. In 1974, the scientists Schwarz, Scherk and Yoneya reexamined strings so that the textures or patterns of strings and their associated vibrational properties were connected to the aforementioned ‘graviton.’ As a result of these investigations was born what is now called ‘bosonic string theory’ which is the ‘in vogue’ version of this theory. Having both open and closed strings as well as many new important problems which gave rise to unforeseen instabilities.

These problematical instabilities leading to many new difficulties which render the previous thinking as confused as we were when we started this discussion. Of course this all started from undetectable gravitons which arise from other theories equally untenable and inexplicable and so on. Thus was born string theory which was hoped would provide a complete picture of the basic fundamental principles of the universe.

Scientists had believed that once the shortcomings of particle physics had been left behind by the adoption of the exotic string theory, that a grand unified theory of everything would be an easily ascertainable goal. However, what they could not anticipate is that the theory that they hoped would produce a theory of everything would leave them more confused and frustrated than they were before they departed from particle physics.

The end result of string theory is that we know less and less and are becoming more and more confused. Of course, the argument could be made that further investigations will yield more relevant data whereby we will tweak the model to an eventual perfecting of our understanding of it. Or perhaps ‘We don’t know what we are talking about.’

Author Bio
Michael Strauss is an engineer and author of Requiem for Relativity the Collapse of Special Relativity. To contact the author visit: http://www.relativitycollapse.com

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content


Galactic Mystery – Matter – On the Dark Side

Heralding a new age in the cosmos, Norwegian Kristian Birkeland predicted that the universe likely consisted of an exotic component that would later be called dark matter. His comments about this subject matter appeared in a description of the Norwegian Aurora Polaris Expedition (1902-1903). Birkeland’s ideas about the Expedition were published in the fateful year of 1913 which would see the rise of the socialist Federal Reserve System and the Income Tax in the United States of America, two key components of the communist manifesto. Evolutionary processes were in motion throughout all fields of endeavor. Economics, politics, science and the hearts and minds of men and women were in the balance whilst relativism not truth held sway over the modern imagination. Cosmology would suffer from the same ‘evolutionary’ mindset and Birkeland wrote as much:

“We have assumed that each stellar system in evolutions throws off electric corpuscles into space. It does not seem unreasonable therefore to think that the greater part of the material masses in the universe is found, not in the solar systems or nebulae, but in “empty” space.”

In this fashion, Birkeland predicted that because of the ‘evolutions’ present within the cosmos most of the matter in the universe must be found in ’empty’ space rather than that which is observable in stellar objects. It is currently believed that only four percent of the universe is of this ordinary visible stellar type. Further, about a quarter of the universe is made up of the ubiquitous dark matter with the rest of the cosmos being filled with the even more bizarre dark energy. It was Fritz Zwicky, a swiss astrophysicist working for Caltech, who would further the concept of dark matter through the aegis of the Virial Theorem.

This mathematical relation is a formula which bounds the energy of a set of particles. In another dark year in the steady evolution to slavery since 1933 saw the removal of gold from the accounts of american citizenry, Zwicky used the Virial Theorem in an attempt to ascertain the validity of the dark matter hypothesis. He focussed his attention on the Coma galactic cluster and his analysis provided prima facie confirmation for the existence of dark matter. By evaluating the amount of movement of those galaxies at the periphery of the cluster he was able to approximately surmise the aggregate of all the matter therein.

He was astonished to learn that this sum total of mass is different from a separately computed estimate. This other value was obtained by analyzing the sum total of galaxies and the brightness of the Coma cluster. Juxtaposing this value with the periphery computation he observed that there was a discrepancy of at a minimum four hundredfold. Since the galaxies were insufficiently massive to cause the computed orbital velocities there must be some other mechanism to explain this phenomena. This conundrum became in the scientific lexicon the missing mass problem. Zwicky had established the need for the existence of an invisible source of mass hitherto unknown which must provide the necessary gravitational effect for the cluster.

Thus, it is a fact of the current state of cosmology that the greatest set of evidence for dark matter comes from this galactic gravitational data. Scientists have even made galactic curves describing the rotational properties of stars versus the distance from the galactic center. When the gravitational data is plotted it can be shown that only a small portion of the observed speeds are explicable by classical computations. In other words, there is a scarcity of visible mass in the observed galaxies to attribute the sum total of gravitational effects to visibly observable stars planets and galaxies. Thus, the simplest way to explain this galactic mystery of insufficient mass is to hypothesize a non-detectable type of mass known as dark matter which can be the cause for the gravitational effects.

As more and more data is collected on these and other aspects of the universe, formulae and cosmological postulates are generated describing the results so obtained. Fulfilling the requirements of the aforementioned aspects leads some scientists to propose several different types of dark matter. The four main types of dark matter are called 1- baryonic dark matter; 2- warm dark matter; 3- cold dark matter and 4- hot dark matter. Dark matter ranges from the known to the predicted, from black holes to brown dwarfs to the massive compact halo objects (MACHOs), the neutrino, axions, WIMPS or weakly interacting massive particles and the esoteric neutralino. However, there is an alternative explanation for the gravitational effects which originally created the dark matter concept.

If an incomplete understanding of gravitation is factored into the picture, then it can be asserted that the dark matter interpretation is incorrect because some other cause is generating these phenomena. Several different contending theories have been developed to describe the observed galactic data. In particular, one of the main competing explanations is given by scalar tensor theories which try to combine the teachings of quantum mechanics with gravity. Amplifying these ideas leads to a variety of exotic ideas which challenge our most fundamental notions of physics and astronomy. Other concepts go even further and have been the subject of interest for astronomers like Dr. Riccardo Scarpa since these allow for a cosmology without the inclusion of the enigmatic dark matter.

Dr. Scarpa works at the European Southern Observatory in Santiago Chile using the Very Large Telescope Array at Paranal. With all of his experience in this field, it is interesting to note some of his most recent comments on the superfluous dark matter:

“Dark matter is the craziest idea we’ve ever had in astronomy. It can appear when you need it, it can do what you like, be distributed in any way you like. It is the fairy tale of astronomy.”

In view of these comments one should ask if another scientific idea might be on the verge of collapsing. Indeed, astronomers are routinely using these other theoretical principles on a daily basis in infrared observatories around the world. Thus, it is very likely that we are simply wrong about all of this dark matter. It is within all probability that the only dark matter that we will ever find is that ignorant dark matter between our ears.

Author Bio
Michael Strauss is an engineer and author of Requiem for Relativity the Collapse of Special Relativity, a serious critique on the fallacies of Special Relativity. To contact the author visit: http://www.relativitycollapse.com


Enjoying Spain

Enjoying Your Travels To Spain

Enjoying Your Travels To Spain

By: Dalvin Rumsey

Thinking about traveling to Spain? Spain – located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula – continues to be one of the most popular tourist attractions and vacation spots just as much today as it has always been in the past. Maybe you’re wondering about where to visit in Spain… Maybe you want to learn more about its history and experience its tremendous influence in European art… Whatever your reasons for wanting to visit are, you’re certainly bound to enjoy the rich culture, customs, and history of this country once you’ve arrived there.

As you can imagine, the architecture of Barcelona, the Holy Monstreat, and the Toledo cathedral make this a popular coordinate. And because this is such a hot travel spot, you’re advised to make your airline reservations, hotel reservations, and car rental preparations early – three to four months in advance as a matter of fact – especially when tourism is likely to be high (summer months, holidays, etc.). If you prefer to travel “off-season,” – that is, during a time when tourism is low, you may not need to make such early reservations. In the latter case, one month-advanced preparation may suffice.

After you’ve made your reservations, you can fulfill the rest of your time preparing for everything that Spain has to offer. One of the ways that you can do that is by taking a local trip to your favorite library and perusing the immense number of books about Spain. By doing this, you can prepare yourself with the language – perhaps even check out a few books or audio tapes of the language (if available) and additionally learn about Spain’s monetary system.

You should always learn about entry requirements, inoculations and other safety information you might need before you go not only to Spain – but also just about anywhere out of the country. But you can also familiarize yourself with the dress of the land and maybe try a few local restaurants that serve Spanish cuisine and play a little of its native music. Of course you can always visit your museum and inquire about the art of the land so that you’ll know what to look for once you get there – in particular, the works of El Greco. The idea here is to educate yourself amid all the excitement of visiting a place so rich in culture!

Now some people like spontaneity – a little adventure – the unknown – whatever you want to call it, but some of us like to create an itinerary of things to do and places to go. If you’re the “planning type,” then you might appreciate taking the time to map out your excursion. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that – seeing that you’re visiting a new area, your chances of being bored or going against spontaneity are very slim because Spain has so much to offer to each one of your physical senses!

When and if you create such an itinerary, some of the things that you will want to include of course are things like times to eat, take tours, attend shows, and (our favorite) shop! You might think that this information is hard to find but thanks to the Internet, it really isn’t’ hard to find at all. If you’re working with a travel agent, then your efforts to fill an itinerary should be pretty minimal. But if you’re working alone, you can certainly visit the tourist websites of Spain and create your own chart of things to discover and enjoy.

If you’re handy with the native language of Spain (which you might have correctly guessed is Spanish), you can certainly read a few online Spanish newspapers to find events and locals that might be of interest to you. Chances are that you’ll find a lot more entertainment information by reading a Spanish newspaper than you would if you solely relied on an English interpretation.

Once you’ve arrived and have found transportation to your hotel, you can inquire further to find even more interests. By this time, you should be speaking a little Spanish so that you can effectively communicate and exchange money with your hotel manager:

Hola! (Hello)
Gracias! (Thank You)
Como te llamas? (What’s your name?)
Como estas? (How are you?)
Me llamo… (My name is…)
Soy de United States of America (I’m from the United States of America)
No comprendo (I don’t understand)
Por favor (please)
Me numero de telefono es el… (My phone number is [and then the numbers in Spanish [uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, etc.)

You’ll of course want to learn how to ask for other important things like help and/or directions. These are some of the things that will make your trip to Spain more enjoyable – especially as you converse with the natives and experiment with new foods or amusements that you hadn’t even planned for! Just remember to pack your camera or your small video cam so that you can record your experience and enjoy them with loved ones back home.

Travel in Spain by Taxi

Traveling by taxi in Spain provides an extremely convenient way to move about and “sight-see.” Like traveling by taxi in the United States, minimum charges accompany metered mileage plus a small additional fee for baggage and evening – night – or holiday drives.

Spain Driving Tips

European Union citizens (18 years or older) must own a national driving license to drive in Spain, however non-European Union citizens (18 years or older) also need an International Driving Permit as well. Both types of citizens must have car insurance and identification (license, passport, etc.) by law, is required at all times. Seat belts must be worn by all passengers, and travelers under the age of 14 must be seated in the back seat of the vehicle. When driving, remember that driving positions are reversed to American drivers. You must yield to on-coming traffic from junctures and traffic circles.

Special care should be taken to restrict your driving to the main routes outlined on the most recent maps of this area as other routes may not be appropriate for driving (dirt roads, mountain passes, etc.). In urban areas, you can conveniently refuel your vehicle from unleaded or diesel gas stations. But if you’ll drive for long periods of time, it’s wise to completely fill your tank, as fuel stations are sparse in rural sections of the country.

Driving speeds are generally restricted to 30 mph to 56 mph, however driving speeds can increase from 62 mph to 75 mph on highways with more than two lanes. Be prepared to pay both variable and fixed toll charges associated with city entry ways.

Traveling in Spain by Car / Car Rental

Because Spain’s city centers are so popular, you are cautioned to avoid driving in these areas – especially since the narrow roads in these places can accommodate traffic traveling in one direction only. In addition, parked automobiles make driving extremely difficult. Traveling by car rental is best accomplished by following a current map of its roads – which offer views that are nothing short of amazing.

Author Bio
Every Car Hire in association with Auto Europe provides discounted car rental with leading rental companies such as Hertz, Alamo, Budget and Europcar. For information on car hire or car rentals visit Every Car Hire at Car Hire Spain.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content


Best Beaches in Florida

Best Beaches in Florida

Best Beaches in Florida

By: Dave Hoff

Visitusa.com is committed to singing the praises of a variety of beaches in Florida that visitors to the Orange State may enjoy. To that end, we’ve compiled an extensive list of the best Florida beaches we could find. So with out further ado, here are some of the best beaches in Florida.

Fort De Soto Beach is a historic fort built during the Spanish-American War located on Mullet Key. This 900- acre park has 7 miles of beaches, 2 fishing piers, picnic and camping areas, a small history museum and a 2,000-ft. nature trail.

Florida’s Gulf Coast, Caladesi is one of the few remaining large undeveloped barrier islands in Florida, and is only accessible by boat. It is an perfect locations for swimming, fishing, picnics, diving, hiking and nature study.

Key Biscayne’s beaches in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park’s visitors can stroll by the Atlantic, charter a deep-sea fishing boat, ride a jet ski, or just relax. It’s one of the best places in Greater Miami for golf, sunbathing & water sports

Perdido Key is a natural paradise is home to plentiful native wildlife. The clear green waters and miles of soft white sand are perfect for sunbathing or water sports and it’s considered one of the America’s best swimming beaches.

South Beach is a happening hot-spot with a chic night life. The “American Riviera” is great for couples on spring break (that can afford it anyway) since rowdy crowds of teenagers are rarely seen on its upscale sands.

Greater Fort Lauderdale has 23 miles of sun-drenched beaches and is perfect for people watching or shopping and dining at any number of great beach shops and restaurants that line the clean and Eco-friendly beaches.

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park’s miles of white sand beaches and striking dune formations characterize this Florida Panhandle area. Boating, saltwater fishing, camping, canoing and hiking are all popular St. Joseph Peninsula activities.

Clearwater Beach offers nearly every water and beach activity conceivable, and nearby Pier 60 Park has a family recreation complex with playgrounds, fishing and concession stands.

Anastasia State Park is home to several rare, threatened and endangered species. Located on Anastasia Island, near St. Augustine, this beach provides opportunities for Camping, fishing, picnicking, hiking, beach volleyball, boating and more.
St. George Island State Park sits on 9 miles of undeveloped beaches and dunes. It is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay, and is a perfect setting for a quiet Florida getaway.

Daytona Beach is called the “World’s Most Famous Beach”. Visitors can drive automobiles on the sand by day and stroll the boardwalk by night, stopping occasionally to enjoy the arcades. Daytona Beach is also a major surfing hotspot.

Siesta Key is one of the most popular the beaches on the southwest coast of Florida and is famous for its soft white sand. Amenities include lifeguards, concessions, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, showers & volleyball & tennis courts.

Author Bio
Looking for more information on Florida Beaches check out visitusa.com your outdoor adventure travel guide

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content


How to Obtain Optimal Health

How to Obtain Optimal Health

How to Obtain Optimal Health

By: Monique Hawkins

You should already know that nutrition is very important to your quality of life. If you want to have a healthy life and lifestyle, you will need to have a healthy diet with proper nutrition. You might hear all the time that your nutrition greatly affects the way you live and your quality of life but have you ever really thought about why? Do you really understand why it is so important?

If you really want to take the steps to live the long life that you deserve and to be as healthy as possible and enjoy those years, than you need to learn all you can about the importance of optimal nutrition. What you eat really affects your body and health.

1. What is optimal nutrition?
2. What nutrients do you need to be healthy?
3. What foods give you these nutrients?

Importance of Optimal Nutrition
Optimal nutrition is very important to your overall health and fitness. Studies have shown that people can actually live longer if they have healthy nutrition. It is proven that there is a link between optimal nutrition and long life and long term health.

If you take a look at society, you will notice an increasingly large number of people that are overweight and obese. You will also see problems such as poor teeth and acne, dry, brittle skin, dry hair and other problems. You will find many people on medications for headache, stomach problems, acid reflux, constipation, heart disease, high blood pressure and more. What may be more alarming than the high amount of medications is the fact that most people receive very little information about what is actually causing their disease or condition. Instead, they get a pill.

What many people never know is that what they are eating (or not eating) can be causing these health problems. You also need to understand that you will have to make changes and adjustments to your intake over the years and stages of your life. Just like toddlers need a different diet from teenagers, you also need to alter your diet as you continue through all of life’s stages. Understanding what is best for you through each stage of your life is the best way to remain in optimal health.

Micro and Macronutrients
Many people hear that they need proper nutrition but just what does that mean exactly? What nutrients do you need to be healthy? Optimal nutrition will include a variety of different micro nutrients and macro nutrients. Micro nutrients include certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Macro nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and fats that make up the foods you eat.

There is too often a lot of myth surrounding the nutrients, our bodies and how we use these nutrients. This is why it is very important that you get all the facts when planning to change your lifestyle and diet. Many people are suffering from malnutrition and may not even know it. Many overweight individuals may be suffering from malnutrition. Just because you are eating does not mean you are eating the right things.

Micro nutrients are the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs to be healthy. The specific ones and amounts of each will depend on your body, sex, age and other factors. Every person is different so there is not one set plan that works for everyone. You need to learn what works for you. As you change, grow older, etc. this will change again and you will continue to have to adjust this.

Macro nutrients are the carbs, proteins and fats that you get from foods. The amounts of these that you need will vary as well. This is where many myths come in about what you should or should not eat. The facts are that too much of anyone can be bad and not enough can be bad. It’s all about finding a balance. This means those “All-Carb” or “No Carb” diets that are so popular on the market are really not the best thing for you.

What you choose to ingest in your body has a big impact on your overall health and your general well-being. People now eat more fast foods and frozen dinners and other quick meals that are not very nutritious at all. Some of these foods even have additives in them that can make them addictive so that you want more and more. People typically eat out of hunger and many of these foods do not work to satisfy your hunger leaving you wanting more or something else. Yet, they still have many calories and fat and other things that your body does not need.

Make the Commitment
If you are serious in obtaining optimal health to the best of your ability, then take a look at your lifestyle in general. Are you eating the right foods? Are you exercising? Are you getting plenty of fresh air on a daily basis? Do you have positive relationships? If you find yourself answering “no” to these questions, then make the commitment to change. Talk with your family, friends, or a nutritionist. Check to see if there are support groups in your area related to health and lifestyle changes. Look into joining your local gym. Do your research and then purchase the right nutritional supplements that will help you achieve your goals.

If you at least try to make a change in one area, more are sure to follow! You are now on your way to optimal health.

Author Bio
Monique Hawkins is an Associate with USANA Health Sciences. One of her passions is encouraging and supporting others to obtain optimal health and wellness. Visit her USANA website at www.whyusana.com/mhawkins and her new music box website at http://www.my-music-box.com

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content